Entertainment behind the scenes
California battle over video game violence rages on
The video game industry may have won another battle over whether violent games should be labeled as such and kept away from minors, but the author of a California video game labeling law that was struck down on Friday by a federal appeals court says the war is far from over.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the controversial law violated free speech protections that prevent the government from forcing its opinions on citizens — in this case by requiring video game makers to label games the state describes as violent. The court said lawmakers also failed to show a link between virtual violence and real acts among children who play the ultra-violent games.
The judges sided with the video game industry in finding that the industry’s voluntary ratings system and stepped up parental controls were the best way to keep inappropriate games from kids.
“You don’t have the individuals who are going to reap the rewards of these ultra-violent video games controlling the ratings,” Yee told Reuters in an interview on Friday. Yee pointed to a Federal Trade Commission study that he said shows that the voluntary ratings system “simply does not work” to prevent kids from getting “Mature” rated games.
Yee said he will press California Attorney General Jerry Brown to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, where he hopes to show “the growing body of knowledge” that shows ”a short skip and a hop” between game violence and the real thing.